Letting Go

Today’s world is rife with problems of multifarious kinds, be it professional or personal. Stress at work and damaged relationships at personal fronts have maimed us and led to dis-eases of the body, mind and spirit – resulting in a vicious cycle in which we are helplessly trapped. How do we combat this and snap out of the distressful and self-damaging vortex?

To me the answer seems to be mindfulness. Break away from the inordinate haste that prevails over us. Where are we rushing to at a frenetic pace? The pursuit of material wealth that we are after, will that be a panacea to make our lives contented and peaceful? Lives of the rich and might show that it does not. Yes, money is needed for us to live a dignified, decent life. But that does not mean that we must worship the Mammon.

My first brush with Mindfulness was over two years back when I went on a ten-day hiatus of Vipassana Meditation. Till this day, I believe that this has been the best decision I have taken in personal and spiritual growth. After that, practicing Vipassana, and reading scores of books and innumerable articles on Mindfulness, I believe that it has helped me be a better person than before. Every day I believe I am evolving.

Mindfulness requires one to be compassionate first – not only to others but also and most importantly to oneself. Let go of the regrets of the past and dreams for the future. Live in the present authentically and the future will take care of itself. And the best fallout is living a life free of stress. Thus it rejuvenates and revives the body, mind and spirit making us vibrantly ‘alive’  human beings.

Sharing a very meaningful infographic about how to counter work place stress to go with this post. I hope using any of these techniques, one of which is cultivating mindfulness, you will be able to be a handle some of the issues you may have.

May you be happy…
May you be peaceful…
May you be free from anger…
May you be free from ill will…
May you be free from animosity…
AnichchaAnichcha… Anichcha…

This infographic was produced by Unum. Unum helps employers manage stress at work.“>

Thoughts make Things!

Today when I checked my Facebook wall, I found Chitraji’s (Chitra Jha) status update:

“Our ‘ill-feelings’ towards others (and ourselves), make us physically, emotionally,    financially and relation-ally ill………….:)
When we are ‘sick’ of others (ourselves, our life, our circumstances, our problems), we become physically, emotionally, financially, and relation-ally sick………..:)
When someone becomes a ‘pain in our neck’, we develop a pain in our neck….:)
When someone becomes a ‘pain in our arse’, we literally experience that pain….:) When we say ‘it’s killing me’….it does…….:)
When we say, we can’t afford it, we can’t…..:)
When we save for a ‘rainy day’, it rains…..:)
It is time we ‘mind-ed’ our language to ‘mend’ our physical, emotional, financial, and relational health……♥ “

The lines were like a whip lash – flagellating my being. A couple of years back when I was struggling to get a grip over challenging times and when books were my favourite friends, I remember reading “Anatomy of the Spirit” by Caroline Myss and “You can Heal your Life” by Louise L Hay. I had come across similar strands of thought in these books and it made perfect sense to me. A dear friend gave me the gift of Reiki (thanks a ton, Anitha Raghunath for this) and I practised it regularly. To this day I believe that it is this energy of healing that helped me regain my health and well being. However, it was so difficult to break the existing patterns of thoughts. At some frail yet revealing moment I remember, I just wished I could take refuge in some serene place in the Himalayas, famed for its ashrams and monasteries. This can never happen for I belong to Kerala, the southern most tip of the Indian peninsula, whereas the Himalayas so far north… and so very far away. Anyway, it was a fervent thought and as things got better, I forgot about it all.

The one line that captures the essence of Paulo Coelho’s Alchemist is this line – “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Yes, the Universe did conspire to make my thought happen, in an ever so strange way. I might have forgotten the thought, but the Universe did not.

The job that I got was at Ranikhet in Uttaranchal. It would never have been a choice I would have opted for; it was so far far away from all whom I love and care about… my darling daughter, my ever so supportive and affectionate family, and friends. But then there are moments when one doesn’t have any other choice – besides, I was too keen to get back to work. At least it will keep me occupied in thoughts, words and deeds and give me the much needed security blanket of a steady income.

Before leaving for Ranikhet, I checked out about the place. These lines took my breath away : “Ranikhet is a hill station and cantonment town in Almora district. in the Indian State of Uttarkhand. It is at an altitude of 1869 metres above sea level and within sight of the western peaks of the Himalayas.”

I landed in the Ranikhet campus on an evening in May 2009. The evening also saw the first first hail storm of the season. As I bid goodbye to my brother who flew from Mumbai to see me safely through to Ranikhet, I took refuge in the warmth of the beautiful home and the picturesque locale.

The next morning I woke up and drew my bedroom curtains. Lo! What do I see? The wondrous sight of the snow clad Himalayas… and when the mist cleared the trident shaped Mount Trishul gleamed in the sunlight!

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Thoughts are powerful expressions of energy; so are words. They are like transmitters that send off powerful vibes. Every thing that we think and speak adds colour, shape, speed and vibration to this. Thus it snowballs either into something we want or never want, based on the emotion that was attached to it. This incident is a constant reminder to me about the need to choose intention with care – and the attention given to it as well as the feeling attached to it. They can either create happy and joyful experiences or make the  experience purely hellish.

And thank you Chitra Jha for reminding me this latent power of our thoughts and words, for I have overlooked this lately! 🙂